By Glenn Davis
Star central Queensland filly Cyclone Topgirl will test the waters for a possible Brisbane winter carnival campaign when she takes on the city slickers for the first time in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Jewel at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Trainer Lyle Wright has tried to dip his toes in the water twice previously to start Cyclone Topgirl in the Brisbane metropolitan area before pulling the pin both times.
Wright was born in Mackay and trained for many years in the sugar city before relocating to Rockhampton last year.
Cyclone Topgirl has won nine of her 12 starts which included seven consecutive victories at Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville as a two-year-old but is a $51 outsider in latest TAB markets for the Gold Coast feature.
Mishani Hustler is the $3.50 favourite in his attempt to complete a hat-trick of wins following two Doomben victories.
A daughter of little-known sire Changeintheweather, Cyclone Topgirl has missed a place only twice in her career on a heavy track at Rockhampton in July last year and when she started her current campaign finishing last on a slow track at Rockhampton last month.
However, she quickly turned that form around winning a 1000-metre Open company sprint at Bowen on March 2.
“She had to carry 63 kilos when she was beaten first-up at Rocky last month then she dropped to 54 kilos when she won an open company race at Bowen,” Wright said.
The QTIS Jewel is a massive step up in class for Cyclone Topgirl but Wright is hopeful of a strong performance.
“It’s a test but she arrived safely today and she’s pretty close to the mark,” Wright said.
“She’s drawn well but she doesn’t have to lead and if she measures up, she’ll be back here for the winter carnival as she’s weighted out of the three-year-old races at home.”
Cyclone Topgirl has drawn perfectly in barrier five and jockey Nathan Day will ride her for the 11th time.
Day will have the option of leading on Cyclone Topgirl as the filly did in most of her wins as a two-year-old or take a sit.
“We’ve been riding her back lately and I think that’s the best way to ride her now,” Day said.
“I sat back on her when she won at Mackay and Chelsea Jokic did the same when she won last start.
“She won an open race in Bowen last time and she drops back to her own age in this.
“I’ve won eight races on her and she ticks all the boxes.”
Racing Queensland webnews March 14